Each month Hot Plates Australia – Coast-to-Coast takes a look at some of the most exciting dishes around the nation, created by some of our top chefs. As the autumn produce and colour takes hold, here’s what’s happening this April.
The Stunned Mullet, Port Macquarie, NSW
Chef co-owner: Lou Perri
Dish: Wagyu Short Rib, Japanese mustard, radish, granny smith apple, onion petals (pictured above)
Slow cooked for 72 hours and finished in the pan, the marble score 9 wagyu ribs are served atop a white miso mayo separated with pillars of nori. While this is a highly colourful dish aided by the bright pink pickled onion; the beef is the hero; as its intensely rich flavour and ultra buttery texture make it surprisingly beautiful. During our visit the somewhat elusive Lou Perri wasn’t able to step away from the range, however his concentrated efforts managed to deliver well balanced, impressive flavour combinations. The stacked arrangement of pickled onion flesh, horseradish-laced Japanese mustard, kohlrabi cube and micro herb is striking in appearance; and its acid and fragrance elements balance perfectly with the meat. A side of pickled apple cleanses the palate.
$27 Available throughout autumn 2019
Botanic Wine Garden, Port Macquarie, NSW
Owner, food director: Joel Murdoch
Dish: Sashimi King fish, buttermilk, apple, basil oil, green chili, fennel
It appears deceptively simple, yet the whipped and gently smoked buttermilk balanced with the sweet sharpness of basil oil proves a taste sensation. These detailed layered flavours pair wonderfully with the fresh-off-the-boat, sustainably caught King fish. Finely diced green chili adds just the right amount of heat and the fennel adds an aromatic aniseed finishing lift. This plate might sound a little ‘fancy pants posh’ but do take our word for it, this is one of the hottest little plates in the country right now. Pair this with a rare wine dispensed by coravin and your mind is guaranteed to be blown. We ate at Botanic Wine Garden with a slow grazing, continuous feeling of glee. We suggest you do so also.
$16 Available throughout autumn 2019
Monster Kitchen, Canberra
Executive Chef: Daniel Flatt
Creative Culinary Partner: Ian Curley
Dish: Dark chocolate, vanilla, black currant, boozy cherries
Guests of Canberra’s Ovolo Nishi Apartment Hotel (formerly Hotel Hotel) can expect a cleaner, more seasonally produce-driven menu, similar to Ian Curley’s French Saloon, launching in a couple of weeks; however this eye catching dessert crafted by Executive Chef Daniel Flatt will remain on the menu. Textures of alcohol-spiked poached fruit, dark chocolate soil, wafter crisp and vanilla cream are designed for both balance in flavour and palate teasing pleasure. Baby red sorrel leaves add a sharp finishing aromatic bite. We keenly await the launch of the newly designed menu. Qantas, we trust it will be a monumental makeover.
$TBA Available throughout autumn 2019
Head Chef Hitoshi Miyazawa
Dish: Daimono – Grilled Kagoshima A5 Wagyu, hoba miso, grilled mushrooms
This week Head Chef Hitoshi Miyazawa of Melbourne’s recently awarded GFG two hat, 16 seat underground micro eatery Ishizuka unveiled his new autumn season menu. And while the selection of premium local and imported ingredients prepared with skill craft an underlying strength to his dishes, it’s the striking visual style that caught our attention. This continues to far exceeded our expectations. The Daimono: grilled Kagoshima marble score A5 wagyu is served with hobo (magnolia leaf) miso – where the dried leaf is soaked and then cooked with sweet miso over fire, is not exception. The is a traditional dish of the Hida Takayama region in Japan, where come winter, the weather is harsh and snowy. In days of old, when there were few crops and food was scarce, poor farmers would eat hoba miso as ‘okazu’ – a side dish to accompany rice. Today it forms a umami rich classic pairing with the A grade wagyu beef.
$TBA Available throughout autumn 2019